Water Gardens, A relaxing form of gardening.

The sound of water is relaxing and having a source of water in your garden areas adds to the interest and feel of your backyard paradise. It’s my place to relax and my pets love it too. I put my water garden in the back yard by the patio to enjoy at night and to help ease out the sound of the traffic that passes by my house.

Water gardens can be waterfalls, ponds or fountains. You can keep them small and simple or add rock combinations, lighting, plants and even fish.  If you have a source of natural water you can adapt your garden to use it or you can use many of the plastic tubs they have for water gardens. Small tubs and buckets can also be used. If it holds water it will work

The most important step in a water garden is probably the location. Plants need plenty of sunlight and fish will too so place your garden in direct light. It’s best to keep it away from trees and bushes so that you are not constantly cleaning the water and any filters.

The next step is to decide the size of water garden you want.  You will need to take into consideration cost, the size of your yard and the time you are willing to spend maintaining your water garden.  The cost of the garden is influenced by the purchase of rocks, any pipe and water supplies you need, lighting and plants for the garden.

If you decide to add aquatic plants to your water garden follow the rule that the plants should only cover about half of the water.  Aquatic plants are amazing and beautiful. They can be free floating, submerged, or marginal. Plants can be selected for their scent or how much oxygen they provide which is important to fish and overall pool health and will keep the pool health. I always choose a few plants just for their uniqueness and beauty.

Fish help keep debris in the water at a minimum and help in controlling larva and other insects. They are also fun to watch and many become quite tame. At this time I have no fish in my water garden because of my adorable cats that would love to catch them.
     
Algae will be you biggest challenge in a water garden or pond. Algae are caused by too many nutrients in the water, from over fertilizing plants or feeding fish too often. To help with algae problems cut back on fertilizing and the amount you feed your fish.  Also add more plants, replace the water in the garden with fresh water and install a filtering system.

You can also use chemicals that can be used for algae control, like copper compounds, but if they are overused can kill plant life and fish. If you have pets and children this is also cause for concern and a more natural approach to algae can be taken.

Like with all gardens, a water garden may be easy for you to maintain or not as easy as another form of gardening. Most forms of gardening succeed because they were set up properly and had the maintenance they needed. If you’re up for a new form of gardening give water gardens and fountains a try!

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Denise

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